Google Summer of Code 2012: digital media all the way
Last night the stream of people willing to find out what projects were picked for Google Summer of Code 2012 brought Google's servers to their knees.
Was the excitement justified? Quite so. Google approved 1 212 students who will improve free software, while being financially backed by the company during the summer. And thus Google is beating its own record once again.
GIMP got the 5 requested slots they asked for, all of them to be used for speeding up transition to GEGL and improvement of both GIMP and GEGL:
- Two students will rewrite GIMP filters as GEGL operations.
- One more student will port other GIMP features to GEGL (he already implemented blending modes).
- Another one will create a GEGL-based node compositor whose primary role will be testing GEGL (and maybe some artistic application).
- The last one will create a Unified Transform tool (the student already did part of the work last year out of curiosity).
Krita got just four students:
- One student will be working on a sandpainting brush (the technique you can find in both India and among native Americans).
- Another student will implement infinite canvas.
- One more student will take care of perspective drawing.
- The last project is handled by OpenICC organization: color managed printing.
That probably means no fancy new features for Mango project. On the other hand, Krita folks have a hands-on experience of being the first to deliver, so who am I to complain? :)
For Inkscape it's like this:
- There is one project to convert more code from C to C++ (one doesn't simply walk out of Mordor).
- There is a project to create Python bindings for the lib2Geom (computational geometry library the Inkscape uses).
- There are two let's-fix-it-finally projects: guides management and text tool rewrite.
- And then there is a fun project: a new on-canvas tesselation tool that caused quite a stir in the mailing list for developers.
Scribus has 4 students, but three projects:
- Two students will work on a project manager (master documents for creating books and suchlike)
- One more student will work on usability (the team is in touch with a couple of experts since 2010).
- Another student will turn the native file format into a real XML one, with Relax NG schema.
LibreOffice got plenty of projects, of which you might find the following most interesting:
- a Microsoft Publisher import filter (and thus re-lab joins the fun again);
- enhanced Impress svg export filter (by Marco Cecchetti who was an Inkcape's student in the past).
- improvements in the Lightproof grammar checking engine;
- digital signatures in the PDF exporter.
OK, Blender. With 16 projects this year the organization seems to be rolling up the kickass railway. The Blenderartist forum already has a useful thread where all projects are listed along with descriptions. There are, however, some things that stand out:
- “OpenGL Mobile Compatibility and Android Port” and “Multitouch Framework”: that really smells like Blender going tablets.
- More real world compatibility: FBX importer via Assimp library and improved support for constrained animations and Morph animation in the COLLADA importer/exporter.
- More Blender Game Engine love, including introduction of Hive system.
I'm a bit surprised there's just once Cycles project, but then again it's about subsurface scattering, so hey — no complainypants, OK? :)
Digital photography and color management
As you can probably recall, this year we are considerably darktabless and huginshort in terms of GSoC. So we are down to just digiKam and Shotwell.
The latter got just one project, where Valentín Barros Puertas is resuming his last year's GSoC project getting face recognition to this photo management application for GNOME.
As for digiKam, it was blessed with 7 projects:
- video slideshow generator;
- revamped camera user interface;
- face recognition;
- improved integration with Photivo;
- UPnP/DLNA plugin;
- porting KIPI plug-ins and libkipi to KDE XML-GUI;
- video metadata support.
Apart from aforementioned color managed printing in Krita the OpenICC organization got two more students:
- one will add color correction to KWin;
- another one will attempt to create an abstraction layer to UI toolkits for color management.
Once again this year PiTiVi got all the fun. The application will get an advanced layer system and titling. And since GStreamer is the mentoring organization, you might like to hear that GStreamer will get audio mixing and video compositing in GStreamer Editing Services (GES), and GES itself will be migrated to upcoming GStreamer 1.0. Another student will work on a GStreamer based waveform reading and drawing library.
Sadly, there's not much beyond Mixxx and PulseAudio. For Mixxx, a free DJ app, this is:
- vinyl pass-through;
- better library database management;
- key detection for harmonic mixing;
- AutoDJ improvements
Four projects could be a lot or could be not enough, but Mixxx has an impressive progress GSoC regardless, so that's probably OK.
Finally, for PulseAudio it's a better test suite, configurable latency for Bluetooth devices and user feedback for device discovery events.
Yes, I deliberately didn't mention all the details about a number of other projects. Both OpenCV and Open Image IO got a fair share of students, so did CGAL and GeoGebra. Of course, OSGeo has its usual army of students, because Google is so hot about GIS. You can find all the projects on GSoC's website.